Tuesday, March 28, 2017

And What It Did to You

Morning, honeybushers!
The sun’s streaming in my window, and I can tell it’s going to be a gorgeous, almost-warm day. I’m lying in bed, drinking black coffee out of a boob-shaped mug, and rolling around on my new pink satin sheets, which were a stunning impulse purchase that make me feel like a 50s Hollywood blonde excited about getting a single line in a B horror movie.

[sophistication costs exactly $14 on Amazon]

Today I woke up with somethin’ on my mind: Non-monogamy.

Specifically, some of the not-so-cute behaviors that sometimes come along for the ride with non-monogamy.

Why’s this on my mind?
Because I’m dating around and sleeping with queers and trying not to hurt anyone too much in the process, and...so is almost everyone else I meet these days.

Maybe it’s the homos I’m hanging out with, but damn—there is a definite uptick in the number of people doing non-monogamy from when I was dating people while in a committed relationship five or six years ago.

In my experience, just a half-decade ago, being into non-monogamy was still perceived as a bit ~out there~.

It was something you really had to explain hard to friends at brunch, who would nod and then nervously put their arms around their girlfriends before asking the waiter if there was any way they could get more soy creamer.

It was a slightly more innocent time. Battered copies of The Ethical Slut were passed around. People quietly asked you how your open relationship worked, then sighed and said, “I’d love to do that but my girlfriend would never go for it.”  

[I'll loan it to you but only if you don't return it all sticky]

Fast-forward to today, and suddenly, it feels like everyone’s doing it.

Pretty much every other Tinder profile I see says “ethically non-monogamous” or “poly and proud” or “in an open relationship.”

Most queer couples I know are into the idea of possibly having an open relationship at some point, if they’re not already actively doin’ it.

Things are different now, sluts.

And? That is wonderful. I’m thrilled!

It’s a gorgeous thing when people are open about their desires and needs, and upfront about exactly what they’re looking for in a potential new relationship.

I’m personally excited that non-monogamous relationships are becoming a more mainstream choice for living.

(It means I get to explain myself less and fuxx more, thank the Goddess.)

[via look_at_this_pussy]

But! I’ve been noticing something odd lately.
Something real gay.
Something that is the literal opposite of what’s going on in HeteroWorld™.

Queers are starting to feel bad if they’re not into non-monogamy.

Non-monogamy: so hot right now.

All the kids are doing it!

And what if...what if you don’t want to?

That’s fucking OK, lesbiqueers.

You don’t have to do it.

I’ve been noticing some gheys apologizing for wanting to be monogamous, or feeling kind of “uncool” if they’re not toooootallly OK with the idea of non-monogamy.

And here’s the thing: feeling uncool can sometimes lead to shitty situations, like people who are not actually into non-monogamy feeling pressure to be in or stay in a relationship situation that they’re not ready for.

Non-monogamous relationships, in any form, do not work and are not healthy unless everyone involved wants to do it.

You cannot have a healthy non-monogamous relationship where one person wants to be open and the other doesn't...but is agreeing to do it so they can keep dating the person who wants it.

That’s not how this works.
Everybody has to want it, or somebody’s going to get hurt.

Guess what else? If someone wants to be non-monogamous, knows the person they’re dating does not, and continues to date other people, actively causing their original dating partner pain…that is fucked.

I keep seeing this! What is this, sugarplums?

You know the person you’re dating.
You know when they’re in love with you.
You do. Admit it.

[this is Stella and literally everyone is in love with her]

If someone is in love with you, and you know they’re only agreeing to an open relationship to keep you in their life, and you are hurting them, end it.

End it! What are you even doing?

It’s like the thing my mom told me about sex (when she still thought I would get married to a man and have wedding-night sex as a virgin):

If something hurts in a bad way, no one should be getting pleasure from it.

Don't get your ego stroked by having someone ache over you. 

Now, everyone is grown, but:

If your person is not 100% capable, re: being in love with you, of ending your relationship together, and you know they are quietly dying inside while you date and/or fuck others, you need to end it.
Non-monogamous lovin’ ain’t for everyone, and it’s certainly not for people who don’t really want to be there but are taking what they can get from someone they’re heartsick over.

Let me just say this:

Non-monogamy is not cooler than monogamy.

Poly is not better than monogamous.

Open is not better than closed.

It is OK to want whatever you want, loves.

It is understandable to NOT BE AT ALL OK with the idea of your beautiful sweet tender partner sharing beautiful sweet tender moments or sex with anyone else.

It’s OK to want a closed relationship, just you and another person.

It’s OK if you’ve tried non-monogamy in the past, gotten burned, and are no longer interested in trying.

If you want to be the only very special person in someone’s life, and be their only other very special person, with no one else involved, it’s OK to openly say that. You don’t have to pretend to be fine and casual about being in a situation that makes you incredibly uncomfortable or hurts you.

You deserve the kind of love that you want, in whatever form that comes in (as long as what you want isn’t illegal.)

You’re not down with non-monogamy? Say so.

You don’t want to deal with the massive amounts of communication that healthy non-monogamous/open relationships require?

It’s alright, BB.

Don’t agree to something that you already know will cause you pain, even if lots of other queermos are doing it.

[via childmagazine]

And so many queers are doing it.

And some queers are using “being non-monogamous” as an excuse to act like assholes.

Being non-monogamous is not a license to do whatever you want, all the time, without regard to how it affects others.

Being ethically non-monogamous or poly or open is the literal opposite of that—it’s an agreement that you will check in.

[via TwentyFirstCenturyBlues.tumblr.com]

It’s an agreement that you will have and respect clear boundaries.

It’s an agreement that you will spend more time than you even thought you had making damn sure that every single person involved with you feels respected, safe, and heard.

It means you listen, even when you are exhausted by the idea of listening to one more person having one more feeling.

You don’t get to just do whatever you like and cause an emotional massacre all around you while claiming that no one can blame you because “you warned them” you were non-monogamous.

Ew, my loves.

Let's do better, shall we?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tender Buttons

Hey, friggers!

What’s happening?

Here in Minneapolis, the weather's been scaring everyone.

It keeps being freakishly warm and raining and then freezing suddenly, like, "It's warm! It's warm! Put on miniskirts! With no tights! LOL BITCH GOT U LMAO."

As I walked home from work the other day, I stepped over an earthworm trying to cross the sidewalk. It was just creeping along, slowly flopping itself forward, as if it wasn’t the middle of February and 60 fucking degrees outside and the world wasn’t going to end soon due to either global warming or something that Trump tweets.

This worm didn’t care.
Harbinger of doom, no problem.

Speaking of harbingers of doom, do y’allfags watch The Bachelor?

I do. I rage-watch it, the same way I rage-read Cosmo’s sex and grooming tips. It feels delicious and wrong and highly educational, you know?

Seven and Tawnya and I sit on the couch and shriek every time Nick (the Bachelor) tiptoe-walks his fingers onto the oiled upper thigh of yet another woman who’s there “with a totally open heart.”

We scream when Nick addresses the group of contestants on the show as “you women”; we gag each time he sloppily tongue-kisses every person on the show within a single 90-minute episode.

What is it about shows like The Bachelor?  
It makes my skin crawl to watch it, but that also feels good?

It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that there are people willing to go on a national TV show to fight each other over a slimy, personality-devoid manturd with salon highlights and the flat, dead eyes of someone who has never questioned his right to attention from women.

We watch it every week.

In a closet near the living room, Tawnya keeps a hideous, pilling yellow blanket.

This yellow blanket has become my Shame Blanket.

When something embarrassing happens on The Bachelor—if it’s really bad and I can’t handle it—I have to leap up, go get the Shame Blanket, and bring it back to the couch, where I pull it over my head and moan, “No. Noooooo. OMG NOOOO,” while thrashing around on the couch like a salmon.

And while watching groups of grown women earnestly discussing their “relationship” with the Bachelor (a man they’ve been on a single solo date with) is absolutely enough to make me go get the Shame Blanket and twist it in my lap for comfort...there’s actually only one thing that for sure will make me wail in horror and cover my whole head:
Watching Nick lace his fingers through a woman’s fingers as they talk.

He holds hands with them.
All of them.
Sometimes he holds a woman’s hand in full view of the other contestants. Sometimes he holds hands with every woman on the show during the same episode.

This is not something I can deal with. My heart races; it makes me feel panicky to even watch all this handholding promiscuity.

I can’t hold hands.
At all.
With anyone.
It’s so intimate! So familiar! Such an innocent-yet-loving move! How could you romantically hold hands with that many people? Especially if you’ve only known them for a few weeks? How could you do this ultra-personal thing???

It’s so upsetting.

And here’s the thing that worries me, faggettes:

Fucking on the first date is no problem for me.

Making out after just meeting? Yes, show me into that filthy bathroom stall with no lock and a mysteriously soaking-wet floor.

[so sexy mmm come on]
But holding hands? Holding hands???
That is Intimacy Level: 92 for me.

We’d better be well into the “I love yous” to be holding hands, and even then I’m doing breathing exercises as I unclench my clammy paw.
My friends think this is so weird.

I’m starting to think that maybe it is really weird.

Tawnya: Let me get this straight: you can hold hands with someone’s genitals, but not their actual hand?


And as I date for the first time as a fully single adult, I’m learning something:

I have real problems with gentle intimacy.

I can’t hold hands.

I can’t kiss someone in front of my friends unless we’ve been dating a long time.

I get uncomfortable even watching someone else give their date a backrub at a party.

(OK I am literally shuddering just thinking about watching someone give their date a *sensual backrub* at a party, someone help me.)

All of these things are what I consider “intimate” couple things—totally unacceptable activities to do in front of others.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to do unspeakable activities with a brand-new date in a private space with no one else around.

I also seem to feel cheerful about writing about my sex life online, for strangers to read.

But the day I am able to lace my fingers casually around someone else’s fingers and walk somewhere?

That’s abouuuuuut the same day that person and I would be talking about how many queer teens we want to adopt together.

(We all live on a hobby farm in the country, where my partner—the one I can hold hands with—has built us cabins. The cabins overlook a lake. We also rescue dogs. It’s chill.)

Someone I’m dating called me out on the hand-holding thing last week.

It was icy and dark out, and as we walked to their house to spend the night, they slid their hand over my hand and tried to interlock their fingers through mine.

I froze as they did it—held out my spread-out hand stiffly, like a freaked-out starfish.

My date dropped my hand and we walked up the stairs.
That same night, they tried it again, this time more deliberately and in bed. Because no one else is weird about normal human intimacy, while we were naked, my date reached up to grip my arm, then slid their hand down to take my hand, holding it against their chest.

I wriggled free like an eel, shifting my hand to a different position.

My date smiled in the half-dark. “You don’t like holding hands,” they said.
I laughed, nervous. “I don’t,” I said. “Wait, no, I do like it—I like it a lot. Just not, you know, with someone who’s still new to me. Is that OK?”
Of course it’s OK.

This person has already spent a lot of time in my personal ::area:: For me to have a small, tightly controlled boundary isn’t a big deal.

It’s just an odd deal.
One that makes no sense.

What’s…what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I let my guard down? How is not holding hands a "guard" at all?

Can a person become so casual about fucking that they become almost ritualistic about small displays of real affection?

Do any of you queermosexuelles have anything like this—private rules of intimacy that feel important to protect for no explainable reason?